Sunday 22 April 2018

Irish author in running for world young writer prize

Author Sally Rooney. Photo: Tony Gavin
Author Sally Rooney. Photo: Tony Gavin
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

A Dublin author has been shortlisted for the world's biggest literary prize for young writers.

Sally Rooney wrote her debut novel in just three months while studying for her masters in American Literature at Trinity College, Dublin.

Her book 'Conversations with Friends' has now been shortlisted for the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize worth £30,000 (€34,200).

'Conversations with Friends' centres around the story of two young women who become unwittingly embroiled in an affair with a married couple in post-boom Dublin. The two women are also former lovers - and the story addresses the intricacies of female friendship, jealousy, lust and issues that face young adults in Ireland today.

Rooney picked up wide acclaim for the novel and was named the "Salinger for the Snapchat generation", with her work described by Kazuo Ishiguro as a "moment of real significance".

The book was listed among 'Vogue's 10 Best Books of 2017 and 'Slate's 10 Favourite Books of the Year.

Rooney said that she has been overwhelmed by the positive response to her book - from critics and readers.

"Being shortlisted for the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize is of course a real honour for me and my work," she said. "When I wrote 'Conversations with Friends', it was hard for me to imagine the book even finding readers. So it's a huge privilege to find it judged alongside such exciting and innovative new writing. I'm very grateful."

A total of four debut authors make up the female-dominated shortlist of six for the 10th edition of the prize, which is open to writers aged 39 or under.

The winner will be announced on May 10.

Irish Independent

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